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How to Bring an Objective Perspective to Customer Surveys

Customer service7 MIN READFeb 10, 2020

How to Bring an Objective Perspective to Customer Surveys


Your customer is always right, according to themselves. Is it possible to use their biased opinion to grow your business effectively?

We can see that most businesses have learned to use customer feedback as a means to evaluate their support team’s performance and build trust through customer-based reviews. These are excellent ways to utilize the feedback you receive.

However, feedback straight from your customers can be quite a subjective source of information.

Sometimes customers leave negative ratings in CSAT or NPS surveys if, for example, a support agent wasn’t able to satisfy unrealistic requests. (Read more about why CSAT is not enough here.) Or perhaps your customer was just having a really bad day and decided to take it out on your customer survey. Or maybe your customer is just really easy to please – until the competitor calls them up tomorrow.

To analyze the quality of your customer service, product, and company on a balanced set of information, you need to combine customer feedback with internal reviews of your customer interactions. This will help you understand whether your users’ opinions align with your company values and support goals.

Klaus comparing product roadmap with customer service quality standards

Know your product roadmap and internal quality standards

Before you can start comparing your customer survey results against your internal values, you need to make sure that you’ve clearly defined what quality means for your team, including your:

Support vision: what do we do? whom do we serve? how do we serve them?

Try to understand where your company stands on a scale ranging from offering support to everyone interested (including trials and leads), to making customer service available for premium users only. That’s how you’ll know which customers’ feedback matters most to you.

Customer service goals: for example, are you focused on providing quick answers to all tickets, or having profound conversations with your customers to upsell your product?

Depending on where you aim your attention, you can focus on the customer feedback that’s within the limitations you’ve defined for yourself – and probably for a good reason. Rather than letting some customers dictate your overall strategy, you can focus on meeting goals that make sense for your business.

Internal quality standards for your support interactions: define how you expect agents to respond to your customers.

As support vision and goals vary from team to team, your quality criteria might be entirely different from that of another company. However, according to our study, most support teams rate their support interactions in the following categories:

  • correctness/completeness of the solution,
  • empathy/tone expressed in the interactions,
  • accuracy in product knowledge.

These are some of the unique quality criteria that are relevant to most support teams. If you’re only just rolling out your quality program, you can start off with these basic categories and iterate on the process as you go.

If you know where you want to position your company in terms of the customer-facing communication you provide, you’ll be able to skim off the part of the user feedback that you need to focus on. There’s no need to try and please everyone. First and foremost, you need to impress your target audience.

Klaus stands for customer service quality

Assess customer interactions against internal quality standards

Once you’ve defined quality for your support and core product/services, you can assess how your support interactions align with your internal quality standards. This will help you understand whether customer feedback matches your company’s expectations for excellence.

Here’s how to implement systematic conversation reviews:

? Analyze all conversations that were rated by your customers. Create a habit of going through all of the interactions that received any feedback from your customers, regardless of whether it was positive or negative:

  • Try to understand whether negative feedback points to any shortcomings in your customer service or product, or if it reflects customers’ subjective opinions, misconceptions, or unrealistic expectations.
  • See what drives positive feedback and how you can replicate that in the future. Discussing positive results is also a great way to balance any negative feedback you might have to give to your agents to help them grow.

? Review random samples of customer interactions. If you focus only on the 5-10% of conversations that are rated by customers, you’re ignoring the bigger picture of your overall support quality. Customers only tend to respond to surveys if they are very happy or very unsatisfied.

Regular conversation reviews of randomly picked interactions help you get an objective overview of how your team is performing.

? Bonus tip! Review all new agents’ responses to make sure they’re up to par. Conversation reviews are also a great way to get your newest hires onboard. If you assess their responses before they are sent to customers, you’ll be able to allow newbies to jump into real-life support action early on without compromising your service quality.

Analyzing your support interactions gives you crucial insight into the quality of your company’s customer-facing side. Regular conversation reviews help you stay on top of things.

Klaus, Freshworks and Trustpilot create a combo of customer surveys, public reviews and conversation reviews.

Create a three-fold feedback combo

Aim to find a good balance between pleasing your customers and following your company goals and support vision. Assess your services and products based on a combination of external and internal feedback, and use your customer reviews as a means to build trust in your brand.

Use the following triangle of feedback to reap the best results:

Customer feedback on support quality and products to gain insight into how users perceive your services.

Surveys are a form of customer validation and give businesses the power to be in constant touch with their users. They are an efficient method of communication for businesses while ensuring the customers feel valued and heard,”

said Arun Pattabhiraman, Global VP of Growth & Marketing at Freshworks.

“Retaining and growing existing customers is equally important as acquiring new customers and surveys provide a definitive insight to fine-tune processes or validate business choices.”

Conversation reviews to balance your customers’ opinions with internal quality evaluations.

“Letting customers be the sole judges of your customer service and products can quickly lead you off-course. Systematic conversation reviews keep a healthy balance between satisfying your users and staying true to your company’s principles.”

Valentina Thörner

Public reviews to offer valuable information to potential leads and help you build a trusted and reliable brand.

“Businesses collecting feedback through open review platforms allow any customer to leave a review for any company. Closed review platforms only allow customers to leave a review when invited. There are two issues with this:

  • A closed platform offers transparency issues and won’t give customers an accurate picture of a company’s reputation. So, if you’re having reputation and trust issues, a closed platform won’t help.
  • With a closed platform, consumers won’t be able to find you or your reviews as they research your company and your products. An open platform increases your discoverability, credibility and trustworthiness.”

Flora Frichou, Senior Content Strategist, Trustpilot UK.

Set up a quality program that looks at your support, core products, and services from both the external and internal perspectives, and allows users to leave public reviews. This will help you stay in control of your support and product quality, and build a brand out of it.

Start making the most out of feedback right away. Good luck!

Written by

Merit Valdsalu
Merit is the content writer at Klaus - though most of her texts have probably been ghostwritten by her rescue cat Oskar.

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